In this month’s animal profile we take a look at an animal with a definite wild side!
Meet Kolya, the 23-year old Przewalski Horse and resident stallion of Werribee Open Range Zoo. Koyla came to Werribee 4 years ago from Monarto Zoo and is a bit of a ‘Stud’ with the ‘Fillies’, siring Nikolai his one and a half year old son.
Kolya is the mature male of the group and it is his job to keep everyone in order. Werribee Open Range Zoo is home to three mares that Kolya has to keep happy, a job he performs exceptionally well. Yet if they misbehave he makes sure he pulls them into line...and vice-versa!
Despite Przewalski Horses having a reputation for fiery behaviour, Kolya has proven to be a wise and very quiet older horse. He has a great temperament which serves him well when teaching Nikolai the ways of the world, with the two of them often seen playfully sparring.
Towards the end of the 1960’s, the Przewalski Horse was declared ‘extinct in the wild’ with the only horses in the world in Zoos! Luckily, conservationists around the world set up a program of exchange between captive populations in Zoos in an attempt to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.
Today, the species is currently classified as endangered after a small group of Horses were released into the Khustain Nuruu National Park in Mongolia, where they remain.